In relation to the Scottish Zero Emission Bus Scheme Phase 1 (ScotZEB) you asked for - how many applications did Transport Scotland receive; how many applications did Transport Scotland reject for funding?; which bids did Transport Scotland reject for funding?; which bids did Transport Scotland reject for funding and who were the companies?; Why did Transport Scotland reject these bids for funding? Which part of the criteria did the rejected bids not meet? Am I able to see an example of a failed submitted bid?
As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
Response to your request
Transport Scotland received 13 applications for ScotZEB 1 with one application unsuccessful.
Transport Scotland publishes details of successful applications and awards made on our website at the following address - Scottish Zero Emission Bus challenge fund | Transport Scotland. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs–Confidentiality of commercial or industrial information - of the EIRs applies to that information. Under this regulation we would not provide details of the unsuccessful application or be able to provide you with an example of a failed submitted bid. However, I can advise that the application was rejected as it did not meet the eligible criteria outlined in the guidance for this challenge fund. The guidance required that “buses must be operated on registered local bus services in Scotland for a minimum of 5 years. A registered local bus service is one which is available to members of the general public, has scheduled stopping places, a clear, easily accessible timetable and route map, and has been registered with the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.” This application failed to meet this criteria as the buses were not for use on registered local bus services.
This exception is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of an open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, this is outweighed by need to protect the commercial interests of companies where disclosing information may give competitors an advantage in future tendering exercises, and particularly in this case where the company in question was not the recipient of any public funds.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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